How to make a Quilted Knitting Needle Case

Posted by on 28 July 2020 | 1 Comments

Many of you will already know about my free workshop at academyofquilting.com.... today I decided to use one of my project samples in another way. You see, recently I changed my style of knitting from English back to continental which was how I taught myself around the age of 7 but changed as a teenager to English style.

Anyway, now that I knit the contenental way again..... many years later, I use circular needles a whole lot more - both fixed and interchangable - and they definitely need some sort of organizing holder. Because I have a range of them I decided to make my own and to do that I used one of my book covers created from my free online class.

needlecase covers

Book Covers that can be made to any size
these particular covers are 6-1/2" x 8-1/2"

BTW these bookcovers are very easy to make and can be made plain using pretty fabric instead of quilted, if you want. 

Today I wanted to make a start on the insert sleeves. It is obvoius that it will be easier to make and plan the inside prior to sewing the book cover together so keep this in mind if you are making one. I will need to unpick some of my cover if I want to add in extra pockets on the cover itself.... more about that later.

needlecase pocket for tipsI used 16" x 6" pieces of fabric for the insert and 16" x 5" sheer fabric for the pockets. These will be folded in half to fit in my book cover making the sleeve about 5-3/4" wide when finished so approximately 3/4" shorter than the width of the cover. Note: I'm making pockets for 5" tips. They will stick out about 1/2". You might want to adjust the height of the pocket if you have smaller tip - you don't want them disappearing in the pocket!

needlecase pockets inserts cutout

Pockets and inserts cut to size

Tip for Sheer Fabric: The sheer fabric makes wonderful pockets because it is very thin and transparent but test your iron isn't too hot as this can often melt (depending on the sheer you use). A warm iron is all you need.

needlecase melted sheer fabric

Sheer fabric can easily melt - make sure your iron isn't too hot!

To begin, I hemed one long edge of the sheer pocket and added white tabs for writing the size on. Note: I could actually print these using my printer - you might find my Printing on Fabric ebook helpful for this.

The tabs are cut from a 1-1/2" strip of white fabric. I used a zigzag set to 2 width and 1 length on my Bernina. As I stitched both long edges of the strip, the raw edge rolled over so was incased in the zigzag stitches almost like a rolled hem. I cut this hemed strip up into 2" sections.

needlecase insert tabs

Tab pieces cut

With both raw ends pressed under, I positioned two tabs 2-1/4" either side of the center marking so they were folded over the finished edge of the sheer pocket. Then I stitched them in place across the top and bottom of the tab.

needlecase tab stitched

Close up of tab stitched in place

needlecase insert with tabs

Tabs stitched in place and sheer fabric positioned over insert

Next I placed the pocket on insert fabric matching the center lines with bottom edges even and marked in the pocket divisions. The narrow pockets are for my interchangable tips so the width will be adjusted for each pocket to ensure they are a snug fit. Again, the pockets can vary according to what you need.

After sewing in the divisions, I thought it was a good idea to test how well the needle tips fit - it's easier to make adjustments now! Note: the outside edges will be inserted inside the cover to hold the sleeve in place. I've left roughly 2" each side to give myself plenty of room.

needlecase testing needles

It is always good to test your needles in the pockets

I realized on my first attempt the 3/4" pocket was good for my 8mm tips but not so good for smaller ones because they just fell out if the pocket was tipped upside down. As I worked through making these I found these sizes useful (if you are using thicker fabric, you might find you need to adjust these widths)

Pocket Width: 

3/8" 

 1/2"

5/8" 

3/4"  

Needle Size:

3.25mm-3.5mm 

 3.75mm-5mm

  5.5mm-6.5mm

8mm  

Now it is time to fold the insert in half through the center mark with right sides together and sew the top and bottom seams. Once turned right side out, your insert is basically finished. Give it a light press remembering the sheer may melt if the iron is too hot.

At this point, I wanted to insert a piece of card to stablize the sleeve but as I made all the sleeves I realized the card was going to make these too bulky so decided to obmit that. I used my overlocker (serger) to neaten the raw edges sewing three pocket inserts together. (I made two of these 3-sleeve inserts - each has a front and back so will accommodate 12 different sized needles when each side is used for one size)

needlecase insert

sleeve completed and ready to insert into cover

My idea next was to make removable sleeves so I thought about adding card punched with holes inside the cover and adding buttonholes to the inserts. Then I opted to just sew them in so they are not removable.

I do think I want to add in extra pockets on the cover but will mean I will need to take apart the cover. That won't be too difficult but not a job for today. [Edit] Check this blog post for an update and also some improvements I want to share with you. Part Two

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Comments

  • Saw your great needle base on Wardrobe Toolbox this morning, thank you for the detailed notes.

    Posted by Sharon, 30/07/2020 7:00pm (6 days ago)

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